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Departing for Australia, the U.S. Davis Cup team captain leaves an ad with SI which expresses some of his concern about the present tennis situation in America

Do you seek fame and fortune?

Unusual opportunity for bright young men between ages of 18-20. Must be willing to travel. Hard work, but great rewards.

Athletic aptitude important—will help determine how far you can go in this internationally known business. Intensive training period followed by travel abroad available to qualified young men. All expenses paid.

You will meet important and interesting people from every walk of life.

These contacts invaluable.

Future bright for those who reach top. Fame and security can be yours at age 30.

Do you want this?

If so, give age, availability, background and eagerness.

We're looking for young men with "X" Reply T-1955, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

If you're puzzled about what the above ad applies to, the answer is quite simple. It's what the United States Lawn Tennis Association might be running if it were big business. They need young eager representatives and the more of them who have "X," the better.

"X" will be dealt with later, but for now let's examine the ad.

The ages of 18-20 were chosen because even then champions can be recognized. Perry T. Jones, President of the Southern California Tennis Association, whose fertile program more than any other has produced great U.S. champions, has often said he knew Vines, Kramer, Schroeder and Gonzales had what it takes at age 16. He has said to me: "It is obvious then whether or not they'll be champions."

An aptitude for sport is important. Good tennis players can usually throw and hit a baseball, catch and kick a football, handle a basketball, run and swim, all with ease.

In this sport, like others, many qualities are required to be really great—the speed of a Jesse Owens, the eye and timing of a Ted Williams, the heart and endurance of a Rocky Marciano, the imagination and brain of an Eddie Arcaro—and everything Roger Bannister had when he broke the four-minute mile.

To get to the top requires hard work, and tennis is no exception. Hours on the court ironing out weaknesses are essential. Even then you might fail, but whether your lot is success or failure, the old adage "practice makes perfect" is as true in this game as in any other.

One incentive for the hard work is the chance to see the world without joining the Navy. Tennis is played in almost every country in the world, including Russia. Trips to South America, South Africa, Europe, India, Japan and Australia are available to champions. These countries want to see you—at their expense.


Vines, Tilden, Budge and Kramer reached the top with a healthy influence on their bank accounts. They established themselves as the leading amateurs in the world and happily succumbed to the pro lure. Some of their take-home pay checks reached $100,-000 for one year's work. Not bad!

Various others of the top ten "not interested in the pro game" used their contacts successfully in the business world. Frank Hunter heads "21" Brands, liquor dealers. Sidney Wood's laundry operation is a Manhattan standout. Frank Shields is a successful insurance broker. Ted Schroeder, in the refrigerator business, has pulled out as many deals as he used to pull out five-set matches.

If you've been wondering about "X," here's the explanation.

"X" not only marks the spot, but it's the difference between ordinary and extraordinary. It's that indefinable quality that great tennis players have in common. It's a combination of many things that made standouts of the "Kings"—Tilden, Vines, Budge, Kramer and others since World War I.

On recent results the tennis world needs a few up-and-coming youngsters equipped with the missing "X."

Last Saturday I took off for Australia. If, when I return early in January, the Davis Cup is not in our possession—the "HELP WANTED ADVERTISEMENT" will make an early 1955 appearance.